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View Full Version : Elections McCain & the Line Item Veto


Direckshun
10-22-2008, 04:30 AM
I'm doing some work tonight, and I've got the third presidential debate on YouTube in the background.

McCain mentions that he is the one candidate we can rely on to fight earmarks.

He says that to fight earmarks, he'd like to reinstate the line item veto, that old rube from the Clinton administration where the President can veto portions of a bill rather than the bill altogether.

Forget the fact that Clinton was heavily criticized for asking for it.

Forget the fact that Clinton was heavily criticized for using it.

Forget the fact that less than two years later, Rudy Giuliani brought the case before the Supreme Court.

Forget the fact that the Supreme Court ruled it completely unconstitutional.

Forget the fact that it combines the worst abuses of power of Clinton with the worst abuses of power of Bush.

Does anybody in the house actually think McCain's barking up the right tree on this?

Does anybody support this whatsoever? McCain supporters, let me hear you roar.

kstater
10-22-2008, 04:47 AM
IIRC, McCain was one of the few Republicans that supported it in the 90's.

Guru
10-22-2008, 05:19 AM
I just wish everything was its own bill. I hate that they attach crap to a bill just to force it to get passed.

HonestChieffan
10-22-2008, 05:37 AM
Line Item veto should be legal and it needs to be used with great vigor. FYI...its been a proposal and a desire since long before clinton.

Programmer
10-22-2008, 05:38 AM
I'm doing some work tonight, and I've got the third presidential debate on YouTube in the background.

McCain mentions that he is the one candidate we can rely on to fight earmarks.

He says that to fight earmarks, he'd like to reinstate the line item veto, that old rube from the Clinton administration where the President can veto portions of a bill rather than the bill altogether.

Forget the fact that Clinton was heavily criticized for asking for it.

Forget the fact that Clinton was heavily criticized for using it.

Forget the fact that less than two years later, Rudy Giuliani brought the case before the Supreme Court.

Forget the fact that the Supreme Court ruled it completely unconstitutional.

Forget the fact that it combines the worst abuses of power of Clinton with the worst abuses of power of Bush.

Does anybody in the house actually think McCain's barking up the right tree on this?

Does anybody support this whatsoever? McCain supporters, let me hear you roar.

Do a little more research. Reagan brought up the line item veto during his presidency.

I do agree with Guru regarding a single bill that needs to stand on it's own. The house and senate need to determine what to do for the good of the country and not the good of their particular party.

That would seem to do away with a majority of the need for lobbyists and also do wonders for stopping earmarks.

BigRedChief
10-22-2008, 06:14 AM
The line item veto would alter the balance of power and tip it in favor of the executive branch.

Either you go along with my plans or else the line item veto gets used on "X" that you support.

That would be signicficant.

Amnorix
10-22-2008, 06:18 AM
The line item veto would alter the balance of power and tip it in favor of the executive branch.

Either you go along with my plans or else the line item veto gets used on "X" that you support.

That would be signicficant.

I agree, but want to emphasize that the balance of power already leans heavily towards the executive branch. VERY heavily. FAR TOO heavily. This is partly because Congress keeps abdicating its assigned role due to political pusillanimousness. (what a fun word to use)

Therefore I disfavor the line item veto. While it would no doubt save a neglible amount of dollars, the main thing it would accomplish would be to TREMENDOUSLY strengthen the hand of the President in negotiating with Congress and individual Congressional members.

bkkcoh
10-22-2008, 06:42 AM
The line item veto would alter the balance of power and tip it in favor of the executive branch.

Either you go along with my plans or else the line item veto gets used on "X" that you support.

That would be signicficant.

what if the president had the line item veto, but when he used it, and the bill had to be sent back to both houses of congress for repassing as it was with the lines vetoed?

Would that still be tipping the scales toward the executive branch?

This would possibly delay legislation, but it isn't like there is a lot of worthwhile legislation getting through anyway.

BucEyedPea
10-22-2008, 06:45 AM
I thought the line item veto was held unConstitutional by the SC.
I'm against it, as Congress is supposed to have legislative supremacy not the president. I'd rather see bills passed individually. Why can't they do that?

jidar
10-22-2008, 06:59 AM
Interesting.

Mccain is for this but against signing statements.

I'm definitely against signing statements, but I'm not sure how I feel about line item vetos. Hrm.
If I had to decide I guess I would agree with the SC. By marking out sections of a bill you can change it drastically. It's against the spirit of how the government is supposed to work.

Amnorix
10-22-2008, 07:00 AM
what if the president had the line item veto, but when he used it, and the bill had to be sent back to both houses of congress for repassing as it was with the lines vetoed?

Would that still be tipping the scales toward the executive branch?

This would possibly delay legislation, but it isn't like there is a lot of worthwhile legislation getting through anyway.

How is that not a heck of a lot like the current system? He could do that now if he wanted to, effectively. All he would need to do is veto it and say "delete X, Y and Z, and I'll sign it."

Of course, this whole conversation is irrelevant because the PResident's staff always tells Congress what they like/don't like, so it's not like items X, Y and Z are news to Congress.

Amnorix
10-22-2008, 07:02 AM
I thought the line item veto was held unConstitutional by the SC.
I'm against it, as Congress is supposed to have legislative supremacy not the president. I'd rather see bills passed individually. Why can't they do that?

Correct that the SC said it was unconstitutional.

They could do individual bills, but the system for getting bills through Congress is usually so long and painful, that they group items together. Often illogically, often so that each member can wash the other's back, somtimes to hide stuff buried in the details, etc. ad infinitum.

Seriously, however, separating EACH item that passes Congress is likely to be unrealistic. Tacking on irrelevant crap can be annoying, however. But there's no rules to prevent them, and nobody has authority to prevent it except themselves.

Alphaman
10-22-2008, 07:06 AM
Most will recognize that I'm a staunch Obama supporter. That being said, I very irritated by these pork barrel add ons. I don't know if line item veto is the right approach because of the change in balance of power, but something needs to be done to eliminate these frivilous add ons.

bkkcoh
10-22-2008, 07:14 AM
I thought the line item veto was held unConstitutional by the SC.
I'm against it, as Congress is supposed to have legislative supremacy not the president. I'd rather see bills passed individually. Why can't they do that?

http://www.nittanybeaglerescue.org/images/rose_colored_glasses.jpg

Here is your rose colored glasses. it would be nice just to have a bill that had related items in it. There shouldn't be money for south central LA in a Dakota flood relief bill.

BigRedChief
10-22-2008, 07:28 AM
Most will recognize that I'm a staunch Obama supporter. That being said, I very irritated by these pork barrel add ons. I don't know if line item veto is the right approach because of the change in balance of power, but something needs to be done to eliminate these frivilous add ons.
The solution is obvious. You want to change a law or make a new one? Write a bill. nothing gets added onto another bill. They stand alone on their own merits.

bkkcoh
10-22-2008, 08:24 AM
The solution is obvious. You want to change a law or make a new one? Write a bill. nothing gets added onto another bill. They stand alone on their own merits.

And we know that nothing would get passed, because the bill wouldn't have anything to sweeten it up so that other congressman that aren't in the district or state are located would vote for it. :banghead:

whoman69
10-22-2008, 08:35 AM
One of Pelosi's big goals on taking over as Speaker was to do something about pork barrel spending. That fell through, not sure where the resistance came from. I don't understand how signing statements are legal but a line item veto is not. Which would you rather have? If they could do something about the rules, we wouldn't need the line item veto.

BucEyedPea
10-22-2008, 08:41 AM
And we know that nothing would get passed, because the bill wouldn't have anything to sweeten it up so that other congressman that aren't in the district or state are located would vote for it. :banghead:

That's because congress is corrupt...as much as the executive branch is today.

RaiderH8r
10-22-2008, 08:44 AM
Line item is a bad idea, too much power to the executive. Power should rest with the legislative.

And tough shit, things will get added to bills because that's the amendment process. The House has a rules committee and rules for germaneness that get set. The Senate rules on germaneness usually only apply to budget bills.

Write it, mark it up, move it to the floor, amend it, and vote it. I support the process as frustrating as it may be sometimes.

RaiderH8r
10-22-2008, 08:46 AM
And we know that nothing would get passed, because the bill wouldn't have anything to sweeten it up so that other congressman that aren't in the district or state are located would vote for it. :banghead:

Things do have to be sweetened. Why, as a Member from another state do I give two ruddy shits about what your state highway funds are? This, by the way is why earmarks are an acceptable and appropriate part of the process. I'd tell you, get f'd, and then we'd fight tooth and nail and get nothing done. The sweeteners are the bargaining chips to get other members moved on a bill and interested enough to give a shit.

The lack of understanding/knowledge of political and legislative process is almost overwhelming.

Taco John
10-22-2008, 08:52 AM
Ah yes... The soothing sounds of the third presidential debate...

Programmer
10-22-2008, 09:08 AM
Interesting.

Mccain is for this but against signing statements.

I'm definitely against signing statements, but I'm not sure how I feel about line item vetos. Hrm.
If I had to decide I guess I would agree with the SC. By marking out sections of a bill you can change it drastically. It's against the spirit of how the government is supposed to work.

The original intent of the LIV was to eliminate riders/earmarks that were only added to the bill to gain support of the opposing party. I think the law can be refined to indicate the original bill cannot be changed, only the add-on's that tend to be where a major source of pork comes with any bill passed.

I agree with BEP 100% regarding a single issue per bill would be best for the country, the BS items would be eliminated and the people in office would be required to do what is best for the country.

whoman69
10-22-2008, 11:48 AM
Correct that the SC said it was unconstitutional.

They could do individual bills, but the system for getting bills through Congress is usually so long and painful, that they group items together. Often illogically, often so that each member can wash the other's back, somtimes to hide stuff buried in the details, etc. ad infinitum.

Seriously, however, separating EACH item that passes Congress is likely to be unrealistic. Tacking on irrelevant crap can be annoying, however. But there's no rules to prevent them, and nobody has authority to prevent it except themselves.

The alternative is to have the President veto the entire bill, something which lessens the President's power because then congress can say that the president is against whatever the true intent of the bill was. Veto would put the bill back at step one which wastes even more time. This way the only thing kicked back to them are the objectionable pork.

whoman69
10-22-2008, 11:54 AM
Add ons in the form of pork give too much power to the Legislature and are gutless. They have even been used as leverage to get the President to veto a bill they would normally sign. I have no problem with Congress sending legislation to the White House if its going to be judged on its own merits. The procedures in place to determine germaineness are generally just a rubber stamp unless word gets out about something like the bridge to nowhere. The fact that some in congress put on millions in pork to a $700 billion bailout should make every American disgusted. Congress will not do anything about pork, it should be up to the President to say no more. Congress still has weaponry to get those line items back if it wants to force the President's hand.

bkkcoh
10-22-2008, 12:44 PM
Things do have to be sweetened. Why, as a Member from another state do I give two ruddy shits about what your state highway funds are? This, by the way is why earmarks are an acceptable and appropriate part of the process. I'd tell you, get f'd, and then we'd fight tooth and nail and get nothing done. The sweeteners are the bargaining chips to get other members moved on a bill and interested enough to give a shit.

The lack of understanding/knowledge of political and legislative process is almost overwhelming.

I agree.

But shouldn't they put the Country First

Dave Lane
10-22-2008, 01:11 PM
I like the concept and it could be effective in killing a lot of pork. But seeing as how it won't fly with SCOTUS it doesn't matter

Dave

bkkcoh
10-22-2008, 01:13 PM
I like the concept and it could be effective in killing a lot of pork. But seeing as how it won't fly with SCOTUS it doesn't matter

Dave


But if the vetoed form of the bill is sent back to congress to approve it, I don't see where the issue is. I could understand if congress didn't approved the line item vetoed version of the bill, but if they approve the liv'd version.

Amnorix
10-22-2008, 01:43 PM
The original intent of the LIV was to eliminate riders/earmarks that were only added to the bill to gain support of the opposing party. I think the law can be refined to indicate the original bill cannot be changed, only the add-on's that tend to be where a major source of pork comes with any bill passed.

This would be a useless change, as all that would happen is that the "pork" would be included up front.

Programmer
10-22-2008, 02:30 PM
This would be a useless change, as all that would happen is that the "pork" would be included up front.

I seriously doubt that you have a grip on the situation. Tell me how you feel pork would be included in a bill to fund a widget for any specific application.

You seem to want to keep the status quo instead of finding ways to cut out the BS in bills.

Amnorix
10-22-2008, 02:39 PM
I seriously doubt that you have a grip on the situation. Tell me how you feel pork would be included in a bill to fund a widget for any specific application.

you previously stated:

I think the law can be refined to indicate the original bill cannot be changed, only the add-on's that tend to be where a major source of pork comes with any bill passed.


First, there is no "law" to change. No law other than the Constitution limits Congress, other than its internal rules. If you passed a Line Item Veto law along the lines of what you suggest, it wouldn't change the Constitutional analysis one bit, and the SC would still strike it down.

Second, even if twas enforceable, Congress would just cobble together a majority ahead of time and build in pork with the "original" bill, or else promise the member whose vote is needed to include their particular piece of pork in the next "original" bill.

You would eliminate add-ons, but not pork. You have limited imagination if you think this would drastically change behavior.

[quoteYou seem to want to keep the status quo instead of finding ways to cut out the BS in bills.[/quote]

Frankly, and I'm a staunch deficit hawk, pork is an extremely insignificant problem. It is 1,000 times overblown compared to the realities of the situation.

It's like a man who is about to drown, with sharks circling him, complaining about a hangnail. It's beyond silly. It's easy to point at and object to, so people do it, but it really is insignificant in every meaningful way.

Programmer
10-22-2008, 04:29 PM
you previously stated:
First, there is no "law" to change. No law other than the Constitution limits Congress, other than its internal rules. If you passed a Line Item Veto law along the lines of what you suggest, it wouldn't change the Constitutional analysis one bit, and the SC would still strike it down.

Second, even if twas enforceable, Congress would just cobble together a majority ahead of time and build in pork with the "original" bill, or else promise the member whose vote is needed to include their particular piece of pork in the next "original" bill.

You would eliminate add-ons, but not pork. You have limited imagination if you think this would drastically change behavior.

[quoteYou seem to want to keep the status quo instead of finding ways to cut out the BS in bills.

Frankly, and I'm a staunch deficit hawk, pork is an extremely insignificant problem. It is 1,000 times overblown compared to the realities of the situation.

It's like a man who is about to drown, with sharks circling him, complaining about a hangnail. It's beyond silly. It's easy to point at and object to, so people do it, but it really is insignificant in every meaningful way.[/quote]

Based on your response you are perfectly willing to throw away millions in earmarks on a daily basis and consider them as insignificant.

Great, your liberal brethern would be proud.

There is a problem that needs to be fixed and all you can do is spout the SC will shutdown anything tried to fix the situation. Maybe the SC will shut you down before that happens.

Calcountry
10-22-2008, 04:44 PM
I'm doing some work tonight, and I've got the third presidential debate on YouTube in the background.

McCain mentions that he is the one candidate we can rely on to fight earmarks.

He says that to fight earmarks, he'd like to reinstate the line item veto, that old rube from the Clinton administration where the President can veto portions of a bill rather than the bill altogether.

Forget the fact that Clinton was heavily criticized for asking for it.

Forget the fact that Clinton was heavily criticized for using it.

Forget the fact that less than two years later, Rudy Giuliani brought the case before the Supreme Court.

Forget the fact that the Supreme Court ruled it completely unconstitutional.

Forget the fact that it combines the worst abuses of power of Clinton with the worst abuses of power of Bush.

Does anybody in the house actually think McCain's barking up the right tree on this?

Does anybody support this whatsoever? McCain supporters, let me hear you roar.Does anybody think, that in the outside chance McCain gets elected, that Nancy Bellicosity will give him the power?